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14. The Clash Between Catholics And Cathars Over Veneration Of The Cross

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Chapter Summary

The cross lies at the core of Christian thought on the nature of Christ, redemption and atonement, sacrifice and pilgrimage, and the role of images. Disagreement over theology and practices related to the cross divided Christians throughout the middle Ages. This chapter explores views on the cross from the late twelfth to the early fourteenth centuries. The sources selected relate to preaching, the major vehicle for catholics and dissidents to convey their beliefs. From the turn of the thirteenth century, it looks at the sermons of Alexander of Ashby to gain insight into liturgical preaching on the cross. The chapter then examines texts from clearly polemical contexts: an anonymous Cistercian sermon against heresy, the vita of Marie d'Oignies, and a set of model sermons by Humbert of Romans. Lastly, it uses inquisitorial documents to reconstruct the preaching and beliefs of the Cathars in the early fourteenth century.

Keywords: Alexander of Ashby; Cathars; Catholics; Christians; Cistercian sermon; cross; Marie d'Oignies; preaching; redemption



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